An Open Letter To The Inspector General Of Police On Roadblocks By Funsho Michaels

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This interesting piece was written by Funsho Michaels to the IG of police

Accept my heartfelt belated congratulatory message on your appointment as the amiable and exalted Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force. I look forward to seeing you taking the police force into greater heights under your auspices. I strongly believe that your predecessor must have relayed the good works which he started to you.I was reluctant at first writing you this letter because the sole motive undermining this piece should not be a course of discussion or altercation in Nigeria because I think bygones should always be bygones. But sequel to your appointment about a month ago I was shocked and demoralized seeing the swift resurrection of police roadblocks that was bided farewell by the then IG Muhammed Abubakar. The ban of police roadblocks by the ex IG was greeted and welcomed by citizens across the nation but the joy was dashed immediately after the retirement of Mr. Abubakar.

It became an indispensable necessity for me to write you this letter because we the citizens are saying NO to the roadblocks we have be encountering since your assumption of office and I am positive that vast majority of Nigerians share the same view with me. Recently, I was in a car and we were stopped by men of the NPF so I summoned the courage to question one of them about the bizarre act of the roadblock but I was perplexed at his reply. He laughed and said “guy you never hear say the old oga don go and na new person dey there so we are back”. The scenario kept me wondering whether you have officially lifted the ban on roadblocks and in support of it. I will prefer you addressing the issue publicly so that we Nigerians can know your stand on the matter. I believe you should be against roadblocks because you were one of the vital officers during the tenure of Mr. Abubakar.

According to the police, why roadblocks are mounted on our roads majorly is to prevent crimes and also help to arrest criminals. This reason seems very reasonable to a genuine fight against criminals in the society but the question am asking is how sincere is the motive against setting up checkpoints or roadblocks are to officers of the Nigeria police force today? We all know that checkpoints or roadblocks are means which the police extort money from poor motorists mostly commercial drivers. Having being on break for about two years, is like the bad eggs of the Nigerian police are determined to recover that which they have lost during the regime of the former IG. They don’t even care about the embarrassment this give to themselves and to the police force as a body; the act tarnishes the image of the police. The refusal to give them money leads to assault, harassment and numerous cases have been recorded where they even open fire on the victims.

Also checkpoints or roadblocks causes’ accidents and delay in journeys, people spend long time unnecessarily moving from one place to another due to roadblocks. The essence of roadblocks is for a temporary arrest of crime and as soon as this is done it is dismantled, this is the situation in other parts of the world and removing roadblocks in Nigeria has reduced corruption in the police.

Sir, for the mantra “police is your friend” to be significant in our dear country it is wise for you to take side with the abolishment of roadblocks permanently. There is only need for the police to maintain some degree of presence on the road at all times via motorised patrols like is done in other parts of the world.

Funsho Michaels
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